Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I am amazed as to how magical the F word has become these days. I don't think at any time before have I ever seen the word in print as much as I see it now. And what really amazes me is the word's use, itself, as a stand alone story or as a stand alone column. Just the mere appearance of the word conveys a powerful postive feeling. Readers react so well to the word that in a recent column I read a columnist who simply summed up his thesis by saying that the character in the story in question was 'f@#$%d' without explanation or deduction, and yet the crowd went wild with comment after comment of praise. I am not a prude. Anyone who really knows me, knows I am in NO WAY a prude. Look, I believe language is a living and breathing, shape shifting organism and this is simply because language's bits and pieces are ever evolving and changing and devolving; ;anguage's organs and extremities become a cliche or passe only to be replaced with something new or something shaded differently. I can't wait for the F word to go that way because it means writers will be forced to write, have to create rather than swear like a ten year old and use a single word as a default rather than as literature.
Yes this is the 100th post. For any of you into numbers 100, more than any other number, is considered a milestone. To Saint Augustin it is the symbol of the martyrdom. To me, today, my birthday, like my birthday, it is simply just a number on my way to ther numbers. See you soon. josephjpatchen.weebly.com
Monday, July 30, 2012
Maybe because my birthday is coming. And maybe because as we get older we tend to get philosophical. Heard TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD's SIXTEEN TONS on the radion and man I appreciate those immortal lyrics now more than ever. That's writing.
Friday, July 27, 2012
We revived the idea, really revived the idea, of writing as a serious exercise less than a year ago. I did this as a response to getting another year older and closer to my mortality. In this time I am happy with the foundation laid. There is still a lot of work ahead and a lot I wish to accomplish. As this year is almost up, in September, we already know we will have stories coming out through the end of the year and in anthologies at that. This is a good feeling. But one should never focus on the positive, should never rest upon past laurels, we need to improve, we need to produce longer pieces, better pieces, novellas and novels for example, and that is where we will place our efforts this coming year. I am not abandoning the short story or even flash fiction, they will come, but we want and should always want more otherwise we should pack it up and wait for the inevitable.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
NBC has announced Dracula will have his own prime time television series this fall. That announcement in itself scares me. Network television has failed to get anything right since the advent of Cable and some can argue since the advent of television. Jonathan Rhys Meyers will be Dracula. Now I am interested. He is a wonderful actor; he is force of nature on the screen and was simply phenomenal in 'The Tudors'. I just pray they do not squandor his talent. We will be watching of course, but kudos on that bit of casting. If you did not see 'The Tudors' purchase the DVDs and enjoy the intrigue, the writing, the direction and superb acting.
We all get them. No matter how many stories you sell and have published you will still have rejections. You new writers, take heart. In my case, not that I am anyone special, some of my best items have been ridiculed before making an impact somewhere else. The annals of music and literature are filled with misguided rejections. So take the rejection, hang it on the wall, file it away and keep plugging. True, rejections do bother and they should. It is only natural. One of my favorites is the good old 'sorry we wish not to publish ____ so good luck with that." 'Good luck with that'? What do mean by 'that'? Is my story something akin to needing to be lanced? Or the carefully worded "Good luck placing it elsewhere." I guess it was THAT BAD!? Many editors don't necessarily mean to be mean; but sometimes you wonder. Sometimes you wonder if 'open' submissions are actually 'open'. Or how about those who run on and on about all the 'big' names who will be included in their anthology and if you are chosen you will essentially be the only nobody and damn lucky you are! This is a marathon and not a sprint. Real writing matures and survives, the flavors of the month no matter what awards they may 'win' or self-congratulations they may manufacture do have expiration dates. Work on your craft. Write what you feel. Do your thing and don't worry about what others are doing or even saying. Write from your gut. We all go through this, just don't let them get to you.
So they want 75 words on the meaning on Noir. Fascinating how folks define it. Hey, I don't write crime per se so here was my shot as posted on their website and if I am lucky in the introduction of their newest anthology. What do you think? "Noir is suffocation; that tightness laden in your chest, the gloom and stench of cheap whiskey, sub-budget colognes, sweat, smoke and all matter of oozing bodily discharge. Noir is also an itch that can only be scratched by tearing away her sweater and fingering your gun. Noir is what you use to hide from the light with the rest of the vermin because you don’t want to face yourself and what you had to do."
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Okay so in my spare time I am a reading and reviewing today. I could be doing worse things to clear my head if you catch my drift. ANYWAY.... I have a ton of respect for Frank Belknap Long. I believe many of his plots to be imaginative and quality complex. It is just sometimes the execution and even the ending is a little disappointing. Life is certainly does not have a happy ending. After all you die at the end. So I do have an issue with his strive in these tales to find the good and the happy. Overall I recommend these 23 tales; some very short, some long, some longer and a few in between. But be prepared for a few to leave you wanting more. This is a limited print run book that is still accessible and priced reasonably. Enjoy.
Drop by and read my review of Adam-Troy Castro's heart and gut wrenching THE SHALLOW END OF THE POOL. All of I have to say, especially after what we are seeing in the news, this culture is in free fall. Change needs to come from within and begins with personal responsibility. Check it out.
I know. I know. I normally write reviews for Luridlit, and I will continue. But this is one of my own volumes and something I simply just felt like writing about. Edward Lucas White, who lived between 1866 and 1934, is not a household name but someone you should give some time to. Besides writing a considerable amount of historical fiction, he wrote the horror out of his nightmares. Gee, sounds familiar. Sesta, published by MIDNIGHT HOUSE in 2001 in an edition of 460 collecting many of his best horror shorts for the first time since the 1920s. Overall, this 'greatest' or 'selected hits' volume is intriguing. The language is not stilted, the stories breeze along, and while the situations are mundane, the essential plotting is marvelous. The execution of these tales, at times can be a little bumpy; but overall this a book you should read as as a bridge from Poe and Bierce to Bloch, Matheson, Beaumont and Bradbury.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
As only those closest to me are, and there are not many of you, I pray a lot. Despite what I write and promote, I am a spiritual individual at heart who recognizing his many flaws believes in and has always believed in God. I don't go to church as I have issues with the organized version. I am not going into details but I have always believed religion is a personal matter and not something you show off like an expensive car or watch. SO why am I writing here? It is not my place to comment on ongoing investigations or on popular infamous deeds of the day. It is not my place to speculate on the overall meaning of tragedy and why it is so prevalent in our lives. But please pray for the victims of crime and violence; and please pray for their families as well, not only in Colorado, but in every corner of this country.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Thank you to The Carnage Conservatory and Emily Smith-Miller for publishing my urban vampire tale "Be Careful For What You Wish For". I take the romanticism of the genre and give it right back. If you blush easy or whince a lot --- this is not for you. If you love stripped down horror give it a read and just be careful for what YOU wish for.
Monday, July 16, 2012
So an editor writes me that his editorial panel is disappointed with my horror story and they will not publish me because a character was killed. Yes, someone in my story was murdered. Yes someone's life-force was extinguished to further the tale along. (Before I continue I want to thank Monty Python for a good portion of this copy) True the character had ceased to be. The character was pushing up daisies. The character had gone to see the choir invisible. He was a dead character. (Please check out the Dead Parrot sketch of Monty Python, one of the most brilliant pieces of comedy ever written.) Even if I voomed with him with 50,000 volts he wouldn't budge... Okay. Enough of making light of this. What makes horror horror is the blurring of the line between life and death. It is the very existence of death that scares us; it is the dead who terrifying us. Skin crawls and cringe at the sight and smell of rotting putrid death. Without the element of death what do you have? Nothing. Please editors if you wish to spice up your pages and increase your readership with a dabble in horror understand this genre cannot be translated in 'politically correct'. Understand that death is a staple of horror just as it is a staple of life.
Friday, July 13, 2012
'Hesitation' Places Second in Summer Campfire Ghost Story Contest on The Carnage Conservatory. Congratulations to Cheryl Anne Gardner for her win.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I am honored to have my tale about war and ghosts on this fabulous site with some amazing writers. Give it a read.
My short story 'Wheels Bundled in Rubber' has been accepted by SLIT YOUR WRISTS, the literary e-zine. It should be up shortly. Thanks guys!!!
Just signed the contract for 'Flight 377' to take to the air in the anthology TALES FOR THE TOILET. Paperbacks to be released 11.5.2012 with a digital version to be released 10.08.12.